An early happy Moon Festival to all that celebrate! In light of the season, today’s recipe is Moon Cakes!
I’ve always assumed that it would be terribly difficult to make one of these cakes. There are of course a lot of different styles now and different tastes and flavours. The ones that I had were always vegetarian friendly because my dad is a vegetarian. I once asked him what the difference was, he told me that vegetarian moon cakes did not use pig fat when they made it and I’ve always been grossed out by the idea of non-vegetarian moon cakes (because my 7-year-old brain said that pig fat is gross).
My mom and I were the only fans of moon cakes in my house, she liked the salted egg yolk and I loved the sweet lotus paste. We used to finish dinner and my mom would break out the moon cake. She’d cut it into quarters. She’d dig out the egg yolk and leave me with the lotus paste and we would make faces at each other while eating our moon cakes. My mom always told me that one quarter a day was plenty, because moon cakes are very fattening (because a 10-year-old girl totally cares).
I never could wrap my head around the myth associated with the Moon Festival. There’s a woman in the moon? She has a bunny? But why is there a man? Oh, who knows…
I like to think that my recipe is not overly traditional… only because we spent a week experimenting on the best flavours. So…
Here’s my Moon Cake recipe for everyone who wants to eat moon cakes without figuring out the myth(s).
1 Cup Dried Skinless Lotus Seed
1/3 Cup Sugar
6 tablespoons of fat
1) Soak the dried lotus seeds for half an hour. Once they are finished soaking, split the seeds and (if available) remove the beginnings of the plant. After all the seeds have been split, soak for 15 minutes.
2) Place seeds in a pot with a lot of water and simmer for 1 ½ hour to 2 hours. You should be able to mash them with ease.
3) Drain the cooked seeds and place into food processor. Add the sugar and blend until smooth. You may add water to help with the consistency.
4) Place lotus seed mixture back into pot and cook the water out on medium heat, keeping the mixture moving. Once it has thickened, sort of like mashed potatoes, remove from heat. Feel free to blend again to smooth out the mixture if it isn’t to your liking.
5) Add your choice of fat and mix.
6) Add the mixture back onto your pot and cook it over medium heat until it becomes glossy and comes together like a ball.
7) Remove from heat and cool.
Moon Cake Crust
100 gm Flour
60 gm Maple Syrup
½ tsp Lye Water
28 gm vegetable oil
1 tbs Sugar
1) Mix in the maple syrup, lye water sugar and oil together.
2) Slowly sift the flour into the mixture and mix until you get a dough.
Moon Cake Assembly
1) Flour working surface and rolling pin.
2) Pinch off a piece of dough the size of your palm.
3) Roll out dough about the width of a toonie. Set aside gently.
4) Pinch off a piece of lotus seed paste slightly smaller than your palm. Roll into a ball.
5) Place the dough on the palm of your hand and place the lotus seed paste, wrap the dough around the paste.
6) Push product into the mold and make sure it completely fills the mold.
7) Gently ease the product out to the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
8) Preheat oven to 350.
9) Gently spread egg wash on the cakes.
10) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
11) Take out and cool on wire rack.